If you are not from China, it’s likely that you have never heard of WeChat, but this social media platform has taken the country by storm. The Chinese government is very particular about what they allow their public to see on the internet, which is why websites like Facebook are banned. However, from a marketing and business perspective, WeChat is a valuable tool for marketers.
WeChat has an astonishing 700 million monthly users, according to data that was analyzed in 2016, and is the most used messaging service in China. While originally designed to just be a messaging service, WeChat has transitioned into much more than just a social platform. Essentially, the main differences between WeChat and Facebook are that WeChat is used for almost every day-to-day chore.
The payment system that was added allows users to transfer their money to friends and family, pay their bills, or even pay for their shopping when they’re out and about. This enables people to leave their wallets at home and combines your digital assets into your own online social platform.
The features do not stop there. WeChat allows you to book many different services through their app. It is possible to book a table at a restaurant, order tickets at a cinema, and amazingly, it even allows you to book an appointment to visit your local doctor. WeChat has become the ultimate platform for Chinese residents.
WeChat has over 10 million official business accounts, which allows them to easily communicate with potential customers for their businesses. App users can easily interact with these authority accounts, which enables them to be well-informed and to receive any potential promotions, directly from the app. This is a lot more personal than a business page on Facebook and is the primary reason for why a lot of marketers are jumping aboard the hype train, especially US marketers and businesses.
One of the most popular features that WeChat has, is that every official account gets given a QR code. The app also has an inbuilt QR scanner, which allows brands to place the QR code in as many different places as possible. Scanning the QR code will usually grant the customer immediate price reductions. One of the most interesting and unique ways of using this feature was done by a Korean discount store. They used a three-dimensional sculpture, which would only show the QR code during lunch periods when there was an adequate shadow. Not only was this time targeted marketing, but also increased their follow rates on the app too.
To be successful on this platform, it’s vital that you make your followers feel valued and to offer them good content. As an example, Burberry sent a virtual plaque to every single person who sent them a message on the app, with their name on it. Such a simple thing can improve the loyalty of your followers as well as improve your brand image. Similarly to Facebook ads, the marketing platform allows you categorize your potential customers via geo-location, to be able to target them efficiently with your offers.